I haven’t been paying too much attention to the mortgage market lately because frankly it’s a little slow and somewhat tainted by stigma (having joined the industry in late 2007) but it’s been almost impossible to miss the presence of Santander. Until recently they had been dominating the results tables of mortgage research with leading rates and a wide variety of choice.
Be it in the guise of Abbey or Alliance & Leicester there is no denying Santander’s aggressive stance in the mortgage arena but recently other lenders have started to pepper the top spots.
Surprisingly Woolwich seem to be pricing themselves back in the market with some pretty good tracker rates and TMW (part of Nationwide) is offering one of the lowest rates around at 2.14% which is only slightly higher than the leading offer available from C&G at 1.99% (with a 2.5% arrangement fee – on a £200,000 mortgage that’s a £5000 fee!) and a tiny bit better than A&L’s headline tracker of 2.19%.
Headline fixed rates are also now mouth-wateringly tempting and as low as 2.49% for 2 years from The Mortgage Works and 2.54% from A&L.
For a low fee, HSBC have a 2.99% fixed offer with a token £99 arrangement fee.
But in 3 days time the mortgage research tables will be missing a familiar name as Alliance & Leicester closes it’s doors to new business and gets absorbed by Abbey/Santander.
Until the 15th of October Alliance & Leicester will still offer some great rates but after then the changing tide will ebb away and another household name will be gone from the UK mortgage marketplace.
A&L’s other financial offerings have already been rebranded as Santander and the mortgage division is the last to go.
A&L became a familiar UK brand in 1985 when the Alliance Building Society merged with Leicester Building Society but its origins can be dated back to 1852 with the formation of the Leicester Permanent Benefit Society.
Still, we’d get bored if everything stayed the same!
Have you been sitting on a Standard Variable Rate above 3%? Now’s the time to look at switching because that SVR is unlikely to get any lower.